Men's Team

Euro 2020: How our City stars fared on Matchday One

Euro 2020: How our City stars fared on Matchday One
The first round of group fixtures have been completed at Euro 2020, with a number of City stars already in the thick of the action.

City’s involvement spans all six groups and, with scoring winning goals, putting in standout performances and contributing to crucial victories, our players have left an indelible mark on the tournament so far.

Enjoy the roundup below to catch up on how each of them has fared ahead of Matchday Two.

Group A

Wales - Matt Smith

Wales kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw Switzerland in Baku, courtesy of Kieffer Moore’s second half header.

The Cardiff forward capped off an impressive set-piece routine by powering home from Joe Morrell’s ball into the near post with 16 minutes to play, cancelling our Breel Embolo’s opener.

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City midfielder Matt Smith earned a place in Rob Page’s Euro 2020 squad off the back of a successful loan spell at League One side, Doncaster Rovers.

The 21-year-old is yet to feature at Euro 2020, but will be battling for a spot in Wednesday afternoon’s clash with Turkey, as the Dragons look to press their claim for a spot in the Last 16.

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Group B

Belgium - Kevin De Bruyne

Belgium’s opening fixture came too soon for De Bruyne, who continues to recover from a fractured nose and eye socket sustained in the Champions League final.

However, the 2020/21 PFA Player’s Player of the Year is back in training with his national side ahead of their Matchday Two clash with Denmark on Thursday 17 June.

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With De Bruyne’s potential return to the fold on the cards, Roberto Martinez’s Red Devils offer a daunting prospect to any of their opponents.

They currently sit top of Group D having dismantled 2018 World Cup quarter-finalists Russia 3-0 in Saint Petersburg.

A Romelu Lukaku brace either side of Thomas Meunier’s close-range finish ensured that the #1 ranked side in the world kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign in style.

Group C

Netherlands - Nathan Ake | Ukraine - Oleksandr Zinchenko

After spending the past ten months as teammates, Nathan Ake and Oleksandr Zinchenko found themselves on opposite sides in the Netherlands' and Ukraine’s Group C clash.

It was Ake’s Holland who came out on top in an enthralling clash as they found a late winner having initially surrendered a two-goal lead with 15 minutes still to play in Amsterdam.

Zinchenko completed the full 90 minutes for the visitors, offering a typical blend of style and industry from the heart of the Ukrainian midfield.

And it looked like Andriy Shevchenko’s side had come away with a point after an Andriy Yarmolenko stunner and Roman Yaremchuk header had cancelled out the Dutch’s lead in the space of four second half minutes.

But it was Ake, on as a 64th-minute substitute, who would have a say in the game’s crucial goal when his inch-perfect cross found the head of Denzel Dumfries in the 85th minute.

The Netherlands, sitting second in Group C, take on the leaders, Austria, at 20:00 (UK) on Thursday 17 June while third-placed Ukraine face North Macedonia, rooted to the foot of the table, on the same day at 14:00 (UK).

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Group D

England - Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling grabbed the winner in England’s 1-0 win over Croatia, with all four of our City stars in Gareth Southgate’s squad starting at Wembley.

In a rerun of the 2018 World Cup semi-final, the Three Lions could have taken an early lead when Phil Foden jinked his way onto his left foot and planted an effort against the foot of the post inside six minutes.

But it was Sterling who would have the final say, slotting Kalvin Phillips’ through ball underneath the onrushing Dominik Livakovic before the hour for his first major international tournament goal.

While England were in relative control throughout the match, John Stones and Kyle Walker offered a continually assured presence at the heart of defence, featuring for the full 90 minutes.

Elsewhere, Foden was replaced with 20 minutes to play for Marcus Rashford, while Sterling came off in stoppage time for Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Three Lions are back in action on Friday 18 June when they welcome Scotland to Wembley for their first major tournament clash since Euro ’96.

Group E

Spain - Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Rodrigo, Ferran Torres

Spain were unable to make their dominance count against Sweden in Seville, being held to a goalless draw despite having 17 shots and 85% possession.

City trio Aymeric Laporte, Rodrigo and Ferran Torres all started the match for La Roja, while Eric Garcia was an unused substitute.

It was a frustrating start to the tournament for the three-time champions, who lock horns with Poland on Saturday 19 June.

Luis Enrique’s side are currently second in Group E, while Poland are rooted to the foot of the table after a 2-1 loss to group leaders, Slovakia.

Group F

Portugal - Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva | Germany - Ilkay Gundogan

It was a mixed sequence of results for our City stars in Group F with Portugal’s emphatic victory over Hungary in stark contrast to Germany’s narrow defeat to France.

While Joao Cancelo’s tournament was cruelly cut short due to a positive COVID-19 test, teammates Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva both started in A Selecao’s 3-0 victory over Hungary.

With the game edging towards a goalless draw in front of a 60,000-strong crowd in Budapest, three quickfire goals from the defending European Champions in the final six minutes put the game to bed.

Raphael Guerrero’s deflected effort lit the blue touch paper, before a late Cristiano Ronaldo brace saw the Juventus forward become the leading scorer in European Championship history.

Portugal sit top of Group F, ahead of France by virtue of goal difference after Les Bleus edged out Ilkay Gundogan’s Germany 1-0 in Munich.

Mats Hummels’ own goal on 20 minutes was enough hand the World Champions the victory, who also had two second half goals rightfully ruled out for offside.

Gundogan went close for Die Mannschaft before the break, stealing in ahead of Paul Pogba to get on the end of Serge Gnabry’s acrobatic cutback, but couldn’t divert his effort on target.

City’s top scorer from the 2020/21 season will lock horns with teammates Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva’s Portugal on Saturday 19 June at 17:00 (UK), with both sides desperate for the win.

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